Thursday, February 27, 2014

no go

Spend a week in the sun for $40/night!

i just got an email from the nice folks at vacation home rentals. 
they want me to spend a week in the sun in fabulous florida or amazing arizona.
note to the nice folks at vacation home rentals: are you kidding me?
why would i want to spend my money in those two hell-holes?
florida is basically a huge shooting range where anyone can die at any time for no reason. in other words, NRA utopia.
arizona has the guns, along with a broad streak of homophobia running down its spine. if you're white and wearing garish golf pants, you're probably safe. everyone else? duck and cover.
the nice folks at vacation home would like everyone to believe they're all about the "family-to-family rentals."
additional note to the nice folks at vacation home rentals: uh, no thanks. my family isn't really into the gun violence or the discrimination.
we have a little bit of money to spend on vacation travel...but it won't be spent in effed-up-florida. or anti-gay arizona.
thanks, anyway. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

storming the fort

no jacket required. still, better to have it and
not need it than to need it and say,
"omigod i wish i had a jacket. what kind of idiot
doesn't bring a jacket to a winter trail race?!"
Fort Ebey Kettle Run

"i finished first in my age group! i'm going to disney world!"

~ me

(fine print: there were only two people in my age group.)


dramatic hill (1 ea.). if the wind blows out
here instead of in, you're swimming.

fort ebey state park, on the west coast of whidbey island in washington state, should be on your list.

whatever kind of list you keep ~ bucket, to-do, grocery, whatever ~ this place should be on it.

the scenery is spectacular. the trails are like carpet. the woods are tranquil. and the peace of mind that settles over you while you're there is real and lasting. 

which is to say, it lasts until you're driving home and you wade into traffic and other drivers steal it from you and drive off recklessly, laughing.

i digress.

fort ebey state park. splendid place for a nap or a hike or a breathtaking trail race.

running here is sneaky-tough. the trails are not too technical. the weather is not too adverse. the hills are (mostly) not too dramatic. and yet somehow over the course of 20 miles you gain over 4000 feet of elevation.

your brain doesn't necessarily register the cumulative climbing, but your legs surely do.

when you're done, your tech layers are soaking wet, even though the promised rain never really showed up. waiting for the shuttle, you notice you're shivering, even though you put on dry layers and a winter coat and a stocking cap. right about then you think, "huh, it's colder than i thought." and, "i'm pretty darn tired." and, "where is the f*cking shuttle??"

the point being, 20 miles at fort ebey is good for the body, as well as for the soul. you get your exercise, your meditation, and your lesson in first-world privation, all in one tidy package.

if you're very lucky, you get to have a warm and pleasant conversation with john morelock, author of "run gently out there," who is blessed to call these trails home.

you get to meet local trail kahunas ultrapedestrian ras, kathy vaughan, and van phan.

and you get to watch trey bailey line up for the 10K race on three hours' sleep, still processing the jet fuel he sampled the night before...and finish 3rd overall.

these things, too, should be on some list, somewhere...because they're the makings of a very good and memorable and smile-inducing day.


where did all these kettles come from...and more importantly, what's a kettle?

geology lesson here.